Street Artists Transform an Ordinary Building into a Spectacular Bookcase

By Jessica Stewart on April 12, 2019


Known for his incredible street art illusions, Jan Is De Man has created a charming mural in Utrecht that’s bringing together the community. In collaboration with graffiti writer and tattoo artist Deef Feed, he transformed the anonymous facade of a building into a marvelous bookcase. And the best part is that all the literary works featured were suggested by local residents.



네덜란드 길거리 아티스트, 빌딩을 책꽃이로 만들어

    네덜란드의 환상적인 길거리 예술가로 알려진 얀 이스 데 만은 위트레흐트에 매력적인 벽화를 만들어 지역사회를 하나로 묶었다. 그래피티 작가 겸 문신 아티스트인 디프 피드와 협력하여, 그는 건물의 한면을 놀라운 책장으로 바꾸었다. 그리고 가장 고무적인 점은 모든 문학 작품들을 지역 주민들이 제안했다는 것이다.

이 프로젝트는 이 건물에 살고 있는 이스 데만의 친구들 덕분에 시작되었다. 그들은 꽤 오랫동안 그의 건물에 벽화를 만들어 달라고 부탁해 왔지만, 그의 원래 생각은 전혀 달랐다. 그는 사람들이 미소를 볼 때 기분이 풀린다는 연구 결과가 나왔기 때문에, 큰 미소 띤 얼굴을 그리려고 생각했었다. 그러나 그는 건물의 모양을 연구한 후, 그것을 책장으로 바꾸기로 결정 했다. 그리고 나서 그는 그와 함께 과거에 함께 일했던 디프 피드를 불러 그것을 실현하도록 도왔다.

황기철 콘페이퍼 에디터 큐레이터

Ki Cheol Hwang, conpaper editor, curator

edited by kcontents

The project began thanks to friends of Is De Man’s, who live in the building. They’d been asking him to create a mural on their building for quite some time, but his original idea was quite different. Originally, he’d thought to paint a large smiley-face, as research shows that people’s moods are lifted when they see a smile. However, after studying the shape of the building, he settled into the idea of transforming it into a bookcase. He then called in Deef Feed, who he’s worked with in the past, to help make it happen.

According to Is De Man, the community where the mural is located is culturally diverse, which is reflected in the selection of books that sit on the shelves. The artists went to the community to ask for book titles to places on the shelves, with the only stipulation being that they wouldn’t include religious or political titles. In the end, the books are as diverse as the area itself, filled with literature in eight different languages.

“We’ve noticed that this project brought people together without pushing it,” Is De Man tells My Modern Met. “They meet each other through books. Regardless of the differences in cultures, regardless of the differences in political point of views. Regardless of being extreme right or extreme left. Books are magical. They tickle your brain. And everyone can read the same book, but feel something different.”

For Is De Man, the books are much like his own artwork. Each is crafted with skill, creativity, and discipline. By marrying together his street art with these literary tales, he’s able to fill the community with a positive spirit. And, he was still able to sneak in a smile or two along the book spines, just to make sure everyone’s spirits remained positive.

In Utrecht, artists Jan Is De Man and Deef Feed created the illusion of a bookcase on the side of a building.

Literature Themed Mural in Utrecht

Trompe L'oeil Art by Jan Is De Man

Community Building Street Art in Utrecht

Jan Is De Man: Website | Facebook | Instagram
Deef Feed: Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by Jan Is De Man.


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